By Jennifer Weland, Owner, Evolve Fitness & Coaching
Did you know...
The typical restaurant meal averaged across breakfast, lunch and dinner has 1,128 calories? That’s over half of the recommended daily intake for women.
The average restaurant meal has 58g of fat? That’s 89 percent of what you should be eating the entire day.
The average American eats 22 tsp of sugar a day, much of it from processed foods and canned/bottled beverages? The recommended daily allowance is just 6 tsp.
Relying on packaged, processed, store- and restaurant-prepared foods makes it really difficult for us to know exactly how many calories and how much fat, salt and sugar we’re eating every day. No wonder so many people are struggling with extra pounds and a variety of health problems that come from too much fat, salt and sugar.
Food (quality and quantity) is the biggest factor in the number on the scale and in our overall health. In the spirit of the Less is More blog, I want to encourage you to eat out less, and cook at home more. By preparing your own food, you have so much more control over the quality of the ingredients, the size of the portion and the elements used to flavor your food (salt/sugar/fat versus spices and herbs).
One Public Health Nutrition study found that people who cook at least five times a week are 47% more likely to be alive 10 years later compared to those who rely more on processed foods.
Cooking for yourself offers some other benefits we may not typically think of, but that are important as well:
It’s usually cheaper. Restaurants typically mark up their offerings to 3 or 4 times what the raw ingredients cost.
You safely handle and prepare your food (and you know there aren’t bugs or rats in your kitchen). It’s not rare anymore to hear stories about lack of food safety or contamination. In your own home, you control the handling of food.
You get to spend more quality time with family and friends. Preparing meals and eating them with family and friends gives you more time to connect over something positive and healthy.
You can be more self-reliant. If you have no idea how to cook, it leaves you pretty helpless, doesn’t it? Learning basic things and then branching out as you grow in skill and confidence will leave you less dependent on others—family, friends, the food industry, grocery store or restaurant industry to feed you.
So why don’t more people make their own food? My clients tell me they don’t cook at home because: they don’t know what to make, they can’t seem to find good-tasting options that are also healthy, they believe they don’t have the time, or they don’t think they have the skills to make their own food. Do any of these resonate with you?
And while I can’t really teach my clients (or you) how to be more skilled in the kitchen, I can help with sharing good-tasting, healthy options that don’t take a ton of time and aren’t overly complicated.
That’s why I created the Flat & Happy Recipe Guide: Delicious Meals for a Flat Belly & Happy Body. With more than 100 healthy recipes for every meal—including dessert—you’ll have plenty of options to choose from that are good for you and that you’ll actually want to eat. Healthy options for condiments, seasonings and salad dressings are also included. All you need to do is choose what looks good to you.
Get the Flat & Happy Recipe Guide now in PDF, for Amazon Kindle and in iTunes.
About the Author
As the owner of Evolve Fitness & Coaching in the San Francisco Bay Area, Jennifer Weland works with clients locally and across the nation through her fitness and nutrition programs. She is certified as a Personal Trainer from the National Association of Sports Medicine (NASM), a Lifestyle & Weight Management Coach from the American Council on Exercise (ACE), a Fitness Nutrition Specialist from the American Council on Exercise (ACE), and is a Certified TRX Instructor. Jennifer comes from the corporate world, so she knows just how tough it can be sometimes to get in the activity and exercise we all know we need to, and she also knows why it's so important to our overall health and well-being.
Jennifer facilitates the Move More to Accomplish More webinar and workshop for People-OnTheGo.